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April 15, 2013 / amberwoodterracechiro

Got Veggies?

vegetable garden

This is going to be somewhat structured and less blog-like…..info baby!

The last chance of frost is May 10th.  Don’t put any of your new seeds/plants outside until after that date to ensure their livelihood!

Good plants for our area:

Ground:

zucchini, squash, carrots, beets, radishes, strawberries, broccoli, onions, lettuce, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, pumpkin, cantaloupe, herbs (most herbs come back every year)

Pots (these could all be in ground, too):

tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, herbs (esp. those that spread (mint) or those that you have to plant yearly (basil and parsley)

Plants you may want to throw in the ground and forget about because they won’t produce for a few years:

raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, pears, plums

Herbs that come back yearly: sage, thyme, mint, cilantro, lemon balm, dill, oregano

Where to find plants/seeds:

Farmer’s markets are great for starter plants!  Ask for organic plants and you shall receive.  Otherwise, you can find starters at Lowe’s and such.  The chain stores often do not carry organic versions.  If this is your first time gardening, don’t worry too much about seed selection just yet; focus on getting started, organic seeds or not!

You can buy seeds online (esp if you want organic, heirlooms) http://www.naturescrossroads.com was the suggested company from the farmers.  They are in Bloomington, IN, I believe and are doing awesome things. You can find organic seeds at Lowe’s, Martin’s Pet and Garden, any garden center, and if you are a seasoned gardener, you may have some from the year prior’s harvest.

Organic Pest Control:

Lowe’s has a spray that I have used for years now that is specific for organic gardening.  You may have to ask someone to help you find it, but it’s there.  Avoid all the toxic chemicals!

You can make soapy water and put it in a spray bottle for aphids.

You can research companion planting.  When you plant certain herbs with certain plants, lots of times it helps keep the bugs away!

Cayenne pepper spray will often deter critters, as well.

Fertilizer:

You can find worm castings at the farmer’s market to put in your soil.  If you know a farmer, ask them for some manure.

To keep weeks out, lay down leaves or grass clippings between plants and you will hardly have to weed at all!

Keep your eggs shells and throw them in your soil.

Epsom salts are also good fertilizer.

Visit the South Bend Farmer’s Market one day with the specific intention of planting your garden!  www.southbendfarmersmarket.com

As with any hobby, you can get super specific and technical.  However, for those of you just starting out, keep it simple.  Don’t worry about the details so much.  You will learn from your mistakes.  The more comfortable you get, you can search out special soil and seeds, etc., but these things are not necessary to have produce.  If you have some land to put veggies in, start with a starter plant that you find at the store and just put it in the ground, keep it watered and watch for produce!  If you don’t have any space, put the plant in a planter and treat it just the same.  Make sure everything gets plenty of light.  If you are feeling more ambitious, get some seeds started in little pots now, and transplant your own starter plants outside after 5/10.

*If this is your first time gardening, go get starters and plant them.  It is that simple.  You will be happy you did.

 

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